September 2014

Presidents' Message

We are looking forward to see everyone at our High Holy Day Services. Erev Rosh Hashana begins Wednesday evening September 24. Jennifer Rolnick will be our cantor for her second consecutive year.

Your board has been very busy with items such as planning for our prospective member open house, our high holy days, putting together a consolidated synagogue calendar for the upcoming year, and performing our evaluation of our Rabbi. We would love to have you join us to help plan our many upcoming CSH events.

As always, we welcome your feedback. See you at CSH Sandy & Debbie

Rabbi's Message

My computer gets sluggish, and, no, it is not an Apple computer. So, what am i told to do? REBOOT! My cell phone starts acting up? So, what am I told to do? Turn it off and then on again, in other words, to REBOOT!

So, what does that do for us? It clears out the memory. It stops the programs running in the background that we dont even realize are running. It means we have a fresh start, as if the cell phone  or computer is new.

These High Holy Days are a REBOOT! They clear out the memories, we hope, of all the things others have done to us, and, we further hope, it clears out the memories in others of maybe some of the things we've done to them. 

It may also stop the programs that are running without our knowledge, in our minds and our hearts. Maybe we expect too much of others? Maybe we are holding on to grudges against others, or resentments, or jealousies? These High Holy Days help us zero them out, stop them from running, and ruining the potential we have in our friendships and relationships with others.

Let us use these High Holy Days to Reboot, and to give us a fresh start for the Jewish New Year!

May you and Yours have a Happy, 

                                                      a Healthy,
                                                           and a Jewish,
                                                                          New Year!

High Holy Days Services


Sept 20
10:30 PM


Sept 24
8:00 PM
Sept 25
9:00 AM
Tashlich (Nassau Bay Park)
Sept 25
4:00 PM


Sept 25
8:00 PM
Sept 26
9:00 AM


Kol Nidre
Oct 3
6:30 PM
Oct 4
9:00 AM
Oct 4
11:30 PM
Oct 4
5:30 PM


Family Service
Oct 10
7:00 PM
Sukkah Walk (tenative)
Oct 12
Shemini Azeret (Yizkor)
Oct 16
8:00 AM


Evening Service
Oct 16
7:00 PM

From Ritual:

Ritual extends special thanks to Jay Bergman, Joe Buchanan, Leonard Levine, Kelly McGuire & Youth Group, Sisterhood, and Men's Club for leading services during the Rabbi's vacation in July.  It's great to see our lay leaders stepping up when they are needed.


Welcome back. I hope everyone had a wonderful summer. This is my first article in the Shofar. I hope to use these articles to inform you of the latest news related to the school and how you can help participate. 

As the summer comes to an end, we are looking forward to the start of another religious school year. 

With the help of many volunteers we have freshly painted classrooms for the 3rd through 6th grade. What a great way to start the new year, with fun bright colors in each of the classrooms. Thank you to the many volunteers who spent countless hours making this happen. We are also looking at further upgrades to improve the classrooms. 

Under the leadership of Katy Izygon, our religious school principal, this year's programming promises to be better than ever. Our dedicated teachers will be presenting religious, Hebrew and musical curriculum. 

But none of this happens without you, the parents and members of CSH. The religious school needs your support. Whether it is volunteering, serving on the education committee, and donating to the Education Dedicated Fund, we need you. We need your voice and your participation to help make the religious school be the best it can be! 

When you support the Education Dedicated Fund, you help the school purchase curriculum, supplies, and continue to pay for improvements to the school. For those of you who have contributed in the past, we want to take this opportunity to thank you. Your generous donations have helped to pay for the repairs to the back classrooms, the gaga pit, and the paint we used this summer. 

Are you interested in participating on the education committee? We only meet once each month on Wednesday evenings during Hebrew school. Due to the High Holy Day, our first meeting will take place on October 1st at 5:45 pm.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as the vice president of education. I look forward to your comments and feedback. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by telephone or email.

Holli Hirsch
Education VP


Hello from Sisterhood!

We are off to a wonderful year, even though we haven't had an actual meeting. Our Z'havah representative, April Buchanan, came up with an idea for celebrating Tu B'Av, the Jewish "Holiday" of Love. She coordinated, with the major assistance coming from her husband, Joe, and their son, Nathan, a delicious 8 course meal. We had wine, explanations of each meal, and a beautiful atmosphere with the assistance of Veronica Roland. There were also cooks, the Buchanan family, Katy Izygon, Debra Kerr, Jennifer Nixon, Leslie Schwanke, and Risa Stein. We had servers, Kniki and Aimi Heinsler-Nixon and Nathan Buchanan. April even recruited friends from work to help serve and plate the dishes.

Upcoming events include the Paid Up Membership/Installation Dinner - September 16, 2014 and D'feet Breast Cancer Walk in Galveston - October 18, 2014.

Please come join the Sisterhood! We have lots of activities coming up and if you have an idea for an event or meeting topic, please let us know!

Have a GREAT month!

Leslie Schwanke/Risa Stein - Co-Presidents

Men's Club

My name is David Hirsch, and I am the new President of CSH Men's Club. On behalf of the officers of the Men's Club, we are excited about this year and look forward to seeing you at our monthly breakfasts and planned events. With a renewed focus on organization and communication, we want to organize programming and events that are both relevant and rewarding.

On Sunday, September 14, we will have a breakfast meeting starting at 9:30 AM. Please join us for a fresh bagel and a schmeer, hot coffee and an opportunity to catch up with your friends after being away for the summer. Breakfast is only $5 and helps to defray the cost of the food. We will have a couple of short activities and announce our schedule for the year. Do you want to attend a basketball game or a soccer game as a group? Have a father child event? Do you have other ideas? We want your input to make the programming relevant and interesting!

At 10:30, our very own Aaron Friedkin will share a presentation on Security Awareness. Given recent national and international events, this is a timely presentation that I think you will find interesting and useful. The presentation is open and the entire congregation is invited to attend at 10:30.

In addition to Texan tailgate parties, men's club will be supporting our usual events such as the school Hanukkah party by cooking latkes, organizing Operation Mitzvah, the World Wide Wrap, helping support the religious school with the Purim carnival, organizing the annual congregation picnic and much more. Together we have the opportunity to enjoy fellowship, have a little fun, and do some good as well.

Whether you are new to the congregation or haven't been to a meeting for a while, please consider this as a personal invitation to attend our September breakfast meeting. Membership is free for the first year and only $36 each year. We hold monthly breakfast meetings on the second Tuesday of each month.

Our officers for the year are:
David Hirsch, President
Boris Berezin, Vice President
Trevor Bryant, Treasurer

We are still seeking help filling the secretary position. This position is responsible for keeping meeting minutes and helping with publicity. If you are interested, please feel free to contact any of the officers above.

Let me be the first you wish you and your family and happy and healthy New Year. I look forward to seeing you for breakfast on the 14th of September.

L'Shana Tovah,

David Hirsch
President, CSH Men's Club

Social Action

Yom Kippur Food Drive

Jewish tradition tells us that the destiny of each and every person is written in the book of life on the first day of the Jewish year (Rosh Hashanah), and after a reprieve period of 10 days, on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the book is closed and sealed. These 10 days are called "Yamim Nora'eem", Days of Awe, and are devoted to meditation, repent and asking forgiveness of people and God (in that order!). The 10 days culminate in a day of fast, Yom Kippur itself.

It is the tradition of Congregation Shaar Hashalom, much like the traditions of Jewish congregations around the world, to conduct food drive, asking its members to donate the equivalent of food that each family would have normally consume during the 24 hours of the fast.

Items to donate: canned meats, canned vegetables, canned fruits, cereal, juices, jelly, peanut butter, pasta, size 4 diapers and hygiene products. The drive enlisted the cooperation of Kroger on El Camino Real that donated the brown paper bags. Each student at CSH will receive and decorate a grocery bag. Students will be recognition for the best decorated bag upon their return to the congregation. The donated food will go to Interfaith Caring Ministries Food Bank in League City.

Also look for Kroger brown bags with a flyer attached all through the High Holy Day services. They are you to take home and return to CSH. Leave the donations to the food drive in the hall way across from the office.

Veterans Day Coat Drive

Congregation Shaar Hashalom in Clear Lake is heading up a Veterans Day 2014 coat drive for homeless veterans in the greater Houston area. There are, as of 2011, 67,500 homeless veterans in the greater Houston area. Many suffer from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other disorders. The suicide rate among veterans is staggering. Since 2004 over 90,000 veterans nationwide have committed suicide. How much could you help by deciding to donate a coat or two? These men and women offered to make the ultimate sacrifice for us to be free. Can you spare a jacket or two for these people who were willing to lay down their lives for you? Help us help them be warm this winter. We are trying to collect as many coats as possible by Veterans Day November 11th. We welcome all donations from all denominations and individuals. Start to collect your donations for this future event.


September 2014 brings with it many events that are celebrated at Shaar Hashalom. And so we here in Publicity, have been busy trying to keep the synagogue in the public eye as much as possible. We sent press releases and event calendars about the High Holy Days, the upcoming Open House and Acoustic Shabbat, the Yom Kippur Food Drive and of course – the monthly Israeli Dances announcement, to all available publications. All these – publicity we get free of charge.

Additionally, Wendy has been quite busy placing paid ads for the Open House in the Bay Area Magazine, Galveston County News, South Belt Leader, News Citizen and the CLA Chamber of Commerce.

If you organize or know of any event that you think should be publicized, please send us all the detail, at least 6 weeks before the event. We will take care of it!

Wendy Kane -

And Nurit Mittlefehldt -